The current media frenzy over the Clinton Foundation seems to me to be sorely lacking in perspective. If anything, the facts of the matter and the contrast with Donald Trump make a good case for why Hillary Clinton would be the better choice for president.
Four points strike me as most important.
· First, the Clinton Foundation is a world-changing charity that has made important contributions to global health and to the lives of women and girls around the world. Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton have not sought personal financial enrichment through the work of the foundation — their goal, and the foundation’s goal, has been to lift people up and make the world better place. When has Donald Trump ever cared about anyone other than himself?
· Second, there is not a shred of credible evidence that as secretary of state Hillary Clinton ever allowed the interests of the foundation or its fundraising to interfere with the interests of the United States. By contrast, Donald Trump represents the potential for, if not the likelihood of, the biggest financial conflict of interest in the history of the presidency. Given that Trump sees the world only through the prism of his own ego, who thinks he would avoid those conflicts?
· Third, because the Clinton Foundation has been transparent, we know in detail about its financial activities — both its revenues and expenditures. By refusing to release his tax returns and other details of his interests and debts, Trump willfully keeps Americans in the dark about the nature and extent of his actual and potential conflicts. Hillary Clinton isn’t hiding anything about her financial situation. What is Trump hiding?
· Finally, we know exactly what the rules of the road will be regarding the foundation if Hillary Clinton is elected president. Compare that to Donald Trump, who has said not a word about what he would do with his assets if he were elected, nor has he given the public any assurances about whether or how he would insulate himself from his family’s financial interests. Trump isn’t just being held to a lower standard — he is not being held to any standard at all.
Hillary Clinton isn’t above criticism — no one is. But this weekend’s frenzy over the Clinton Foundation is off base and unfair.